Person:MCMAHON, Robert Grattan (1813 - 1880)
|MCMAHON, Robert Grattan (1813 - 1880)|
|Person ID (Link to genealogy):||GED link I636|
|Date born:||24 Jun 1813|
|Born in:||Harrisonburg, Virginia|
|Date died:||09 Aug 1880|
|Died in:||Gainesville, Alabama|
|Buried in:||Odd Fellows Cemetery, Gainesville, Alabama|
|Spouse(s):|| SCOTT, Elizabeth Rebecca Coleman (1814 - 1883)|
|Occupation(s):||Entrepreneur, Federal Service, Government service, Journalist, Merchant|
|Occupation details:||He entered business with his father and Andrew Beirne in the mercantile firm of Bierne & McMahon, At various times he served as the post master (replacing Lyle Fawcett [Gainesville Democratic Gazette & Flag 7/10/1842]), a Colonel in the Alabama militia, political leader, early merchant, Gainesville mayor, town historian, newspaper correspondent, amateur gardener and baseball catcher (Holt 1955). For 25 years he was the operator of the American Hotel.|
|Description||Colonel in the Alabama militia|
|Fawcett book:||MCMAHON, Robert Grattan (1813 - 1880)|
From Bill Fawcett's book:
ROBERT GRATTAN McMAHON was born on Thursday, June 24, 1813 at 6 a.m. (McMahon Family Bible), to Col. William McMahon and Rebecca Patton, in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia. In the 1830s they moved to a plantation to the north of Courtland in Lawrence County, Alabama. He entered business with his father and Andrew Beirne in the mercantile firm of Bierne & McMahon. Lyle B. Fawcett worked for the firm as a book keeper (Saunders 1969:213-214).
Bob left them to move to Gainesville on April 2, 1835--arriving on the steamboat Sun with Lyle B. Fawcett, his partner in the mercantile business. At various times he served as the post master (replacing Lyle Fawcett [Gainesville Democratic Gazette & Flag 7/10/1842]), a Colonel in the Alabama militia, political leader, early merchant, Gainesville mayor, town historian, newspaper correspondent, amateur gardener and baseball catcher (Holt 1955). For 25 years he was the operator of the American Hotel, the social center of Gainesville and the surrounding area. On March 1, 1841 he voted at Gainesville (Dawson 1988).
Bob became the third husband of Elizabeth Scott on November 9, 1841, recently widowed by the death of his partner Lyle B. Fawcett (on March 25, 1838). He returned to Gainesville from a business trip to Mobile in the evening after Lyle had died (Letter Thompson to J. Fawcett 3/29/1838). The wedding ceremony was preformed by Rev. M.B. Clement/Clemans in Gainesville Presbyterian Church (Marriages 194; McMahon Family Bible).
Elizabeth's son Robert Fawcett died within a year. Her older son, Turner David Bell, Jr. became the town marshall. On Saturday afternoon, May 2, 1846 R.G. McMahon visited Susan Stabler Fawcett at her parents’ home in Alexandria, Virginia. The next day he left on the stage to Greensborough. He purchased $17,000 worth of goods for his store (Letter S.S. Fawcett to W. Fawcett 5/2/1846). In 1850 the household (Sumter Co. #490; Alabama born but where noted) of Robert G. McMahon included Robert G. (age 36; farmer), Elizabeth (age 36; Virginia born), Elizabeth (age 1), Charles J. (age 42, born Virginia) McMahon; John B. Scott (age 22); Turner D. (age 20) and Sally (his 14 year old Georgia born wife?) Bell; and Martha A. (age 19) and James B.F. (age 14) Scott. R.G. McMahon of Gainesville was listed on the 1850 voter list (Dawson 1988).
On Sept. 21, 1852, McMahon reopened the American Hotel on a three-year contract. R.G. McMahon is listed among the Gainesville residents on the 1861 voter list (Dawson 1988).
After the Civil War, Robert McMahon made a great deal of money warehousing government cotton captured by the Union armies (Letter ER Fawcett to V Fawcett 10/9/1865). Bob operated the hotel until the summer of 1875 when it closed, but then reopened it in January 1876. Robert McMahon voted in Gainesville in 1861 (Dawson 1988:12, 60). In the U.S. Marshall arrested Bob McMahon in April 1877 while Bob attended court in Livingston. He escorted him to Huntsville where Bob was prosecuted by running an illegal distillery. The week before his death Bob attended the Fair in Mobile. His health deteriorated.
The Mayor of Gainesville, Robert McMahon died at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, 1880 at Ramsey Station. They made and escorted his casket to his home at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Many gathered at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Presbyterian Church for a service lead by Revs. Peterson and Morse. Bob McMahon was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Gainesville, Sumter County, Alabama (M. Marshall 1980; Gainesville Dispatch 9/21/1875).
After Bob's death, his widow, daughter Mollie, and her husband John Gilbert, made the hotel their home. Elizabeth R.C. (Scott Bell Fawcett) McMahon died on Oct 2, 1883. They also bury her in the Odd-Fellow Cemetery in Gainesville, Alabama (Gainesville Dispatch 5/13/1880). The Gilberts continued to live in the hotel after Elizabeth's death. They tore the hotel down in 1915. The children of Robert G. McMahon and Elizabeth R.C. Scott (Bell, Fawcett) are Kate B. McMahon (1844-45), Elizabeth R.C. McMahon (1849-49?, and Mary "Mollie" Scott McMahon (Gilbert).
From A History of the Fawcetts and Related Families in America by William Bloys Fawcett. Used by permission of Dr. Fawcett.
This book was first published in 1996 and some of the information is quite dated. If you find errors or want to add updates, contact me, and I will add notes to the page.Copyright © 1996, 2007 by William Bloys Fawcett, Jr. All rights reserved. No copies may be made of this document through any electronic, photocopying or other means without permission of the author.
References on this Site
Mentioned in Letters:
Mentioned in Other Documents:
- MCMAHON, Robert Grattan (1813 - 1880) (Fawcett)